Measuring the elastic modulus of polymers by nanoindentation with an atomic force microscope

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Conference Proceeding

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A new method to determine the elastic modulus of a material using the atomic force microscope (AFM) has been proposed by Tang et al. (Nanotechnology 2008, 19, 495713). This method models the cantilever and the sample as two springs in a series. The ratio of the cantilever spring constant (k) to diameter of the tip (2a) is treated in the model as one parameter (a=k/2d). The value of a, along with the cantilever sensitivity, are determined on two reference samples with known mechanical properties and then used to find the elastic modulus of an unknown sample. To determine the reliability and accuracy of this technique it was tested on several polymers. Traditional depth-sensing nanoindentation was preformed for comparison. Using both methods, the elastic modulus of the polymers tested was calculated. The elastic modulus values from the AFM were within ±(5-20)% of the nanoindenter results.

Publication Title

TMS Annual Meeting